THIS is the first Christmas for the brand new An Post Parcel Centre in Skibbereen and, having only officially opened just a few weeks ago, the timing was perfect.
The 16 staff are working flat out to make sure the mountain of Christmas gifts, parcels and packets are delivered in time for the holidays.
The global growth in online purchases, prompting an increase in parcel postage, is helping to fuel the boom.
Centre manager Raymond Hayes and his team have only been in their new premises for four weeks, but already they are finding it easier to deal with the growing volume of parcels.
‘We all love the new centre,’ Raymond told The Southern Star.
‘There is plenty of room here, as the old centre was a lot smaller, and we can deal with a lot more parcels and packets.’
‘At the moment there are over 2,500 parcels going through Skibbereen every week and the closer we get to Christmas, the busier it’s getting.
‘We’re up between 30-35% and getting busier by the day. We’ve been working weekends for the last three weeks with some of the postal crew out delivering until 8pm each evening,’ Raymond said.
Once the centre opens every day, staff begin the work of getting the parcels sorted, loaded up and out for delivery by 6am. However, you can also call into Skibbereen to collect your parcel from 8am to 1.30pm and from 4pm to 5.30pm each day, if you prefer.
‘We can arrange to keep your parcel or parcels with us here for collection, for up to three days, if you let us know,’ Raymond said. ‘Or you can nominate a neighbour and we will deliver to them if you’re not at home. And remember, you can now track your delivery online to see where it is and when you can expect to get it.’ With the number of deliveries expected to continue growing into 2020, the staff numbers at the parcel centre are due to increase from 16 to 22 at the beginning of January.
‘We will be covering all deliveries from Connonagh up to Drimoleague and back down to Crookhaven on the Mizen from the beginning of the New Year,’ Raymond said.
‘We would also like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and to thank the postal crew for all their hard work, as well as all the retail staff out in the post offices. We’re all looking forward to the New Year here at the new Parcel Centre in Skibbereen.’
The An Post Parcel Centre in Skibbereen will remain open until Christmas Eve, and the staff will be back for Skibbereen parcel deliveries on December 28th. The centre will open for full service on December 30th.